Friday Lecture: Ben Grosser - From Forever More to Degrowth Aesthetics: Tactics of Bounding in the Digital Infinite
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Peter Bøgh Andersen Auditoriet (5335-016)
Despite their lofty mission statements, today’s leading social media platforms primarily emphasize one singular concept: more. These capitalist software machines are designed to stoke an insatiable cycle of production and consumption in order to maximize corporate growth and profit. To achieve this, they leverage data and scale to produce signals and interface patterns that keep users engaged, promising connection and joy in exchange for growing shares of our time and attention. This talk presents a series of art projects that resist these accumulative logics, works that employ an aesthetics of degrowth that reconfigures and/or reimagines the social apps that aim to trap us in endless loops—until there’s no more time left to give.
Ben Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political effects of software. Recent exhibitions include Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Barbican Centre and Somerset House in London, Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin, SXSW in Austin, and the Japan Media Arts Festival in Tokyo. His projects have been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Wired, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, El País, and Folha. His artworks are regularly cited in books investigating the cultural effects of technology, including The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, The Metainterface, and Investigative Aesthetics, as well as volumes centered on computational art practices such as Electronic Literature, The New Aesthetic and Art, and Digital Art. Grosser is Professor of New Media at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (USA), a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and a Guest Professor in the Department of Digital Design and Information Studies at Aarhus University.